Complete Guide to Developing a Mobile Strategy

mobile strategy - credit:www.flickr.com/photos/williamhook/Do you have a mobile strategy?

Your mobile strategy can no longer be an after-thought.  Smartphone sales continue to grow rapidly.  There were over 300 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2014, up 25% from the second quarter of 2013.  With the release of iPhone 6, there is now an even more aggressive marketing push by all of the major carriers to up the ante in terms of pricing and data – all likely to increase mobile usage. [Read more…]

Expectations vs. Reality – Quitting my Job to Start an Online Business

expectations vs reality - credit:https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear | CC BY-SA 2.0I thought I knew what I was getting into.

I was running my online business on the side; it started off as a hobby.  As it became more successful, I became intrigued by the dream of leaving the corporate world and focusing on my online business fulltime.  I googled “should I quit my job to start my own business”.  I made a list of pros and cons.  I tried to set my expectations realistically – I didn’t want to make a mistake.

Now that I have been at it for a little over a year, I thought it made sense to look back at my decision and see if it was the right one.  Would I do it again?  Would I do it differently?  How is the reality different from what I expected… [Read more…]

The Importance of Creating a Diversification Strategy for your Online Business

Diversification Strategy - credit:www.lendingmemo.com - CC BY-SA 2.0Diversifying my online businesses is a constant struggle for me.  Perhaps it is for you too.  Or maybe you’ve been so busy starting or growing your business that you haven’t even started thinking about a diversification strategy.  The two areas to examine first are traffic diversity and income diversity.  After you get a handle on those, then you can start looking at more advanced diversification topics.

For me, my biggest concern about my business is a lack of income diversity.  Over 60% of my monthly income comes from Google Adsense.  If my advertising efficiency (as measured by eCPM) were to take a nosedive, my livelihood would be seriously impacted.  Worse yet, if I became banned by Google Adsense, I would be scrambling for sure.  After I quit my job to focus on my online business, the importance of diversity became elevated.  In the past year I have added revenue streams from affiliates, Pay Per Lead (PPL), and other channels to reduce my overall dependence on advertising.  I have also added two additional ad networks to reduce my reliance on Google Adsense. I still don’t think it’s enough. [Read more…]

Niche Research: Evaluate Your Niche’s Potential For Success

Niche Research is the third article in our How To Find Niche Markets series. The first article in the series goes over some niche market fundamentals.  The second article helps you develop an initial list of niche ideas.  This article is all about Niche Research– or evaluating your short list of niches to find the one that you can succeed with.  If you have followed the steps in the first to articles, you should have a short list of about 10 potential niches that you  need to research.  The detail research phase consists of: market sizing, competition, and potential to add value to the niche.

Look Closely - credit:www.flickr.com/photos/clearlyambiguousNiche Market Sizing

There are a variety of ways that you can measure the relative size of a web market opportunity. Two relatively easy ways to evaluate a market size are to research the number of searches (search volume) and to determine a relative sales volume.  The easiest way to determine search volume is to use Google’s own keyword tool.  There are other tools on the market (including my favorite- Market Samurai), but Google’s tool is free, and the data source is Google’s search engine which will most likely be your number one source of traffic. [Read more…]

Niche Ideas: Developing A List Of Website Niches

Brainstorm Niche Ideas - Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/andymangoldNiche Ideas is the second article in our How To Find Niche Markets series. The first article in the series goes over some niche market fundamentals.  The third article will explain how to research and evaluate your niche ideas.  This article is all about “Brainstorming” – or coming up with your initial list of ideas.  Coming up with an initial list of niche ideas is easy for some people and harder for others.  If you are struggling with developing your list, use these tactics to help you get started.

Amazon

Amazon is a treasure trove of useful information about what people are interested in and what they purchase.  In particular, the following Amazon goodies can help you develop your initial list of niche ideas or topics.
Amazon Best Sellers  – is a list (updated hourly) of what sells on Amazon in various categories from Appliances to Video Games.  If a product is a best seller on Amazon then you can be sure there are devoted fans and thousands of people searching for information about the product. [Read more…]